Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hals and Fruit
16 x 20 Oil on Linen

Artistic experiences: part 3, the museum.
While visiting the home of one of my high school friends I saw two pictures on the wall which moved me very profoundly. I looked for them in the art books at the library the next day and found one was Rembrandt’s Girl with a Broom, the other was Frans Hals’ Bohemian Girl. They were cheap reproductions but a spell had been cast. Shortly after graduation I took myself to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As far as I knew no one in my family had ever been to a museum, neither had any of my friends. In my uncultured world I was sailing into uncharted waters. I started up the enormous stairs leading to the museum, it seemed as if I were climbing Mount Olympus. I was in fact about to enter what would become for me the home of the gods. The first room I entered housed an early Renaissance altar, quite beautiful but I came to see paintings. The next room did not disappoint. I entered and stood before Rubens’ Prometheus Bound. I was frozen in my tracks. I had never seen or experienced anything like this before. A 7’ x 8’ tour de force with Prometheus tumbling out of the canvas while an eagle swoops in to peck at his liver. I had never perceived anything so terrifying and yet so beautiful, so powerful, expressive and compelling. I was unaware of my surroundings, nothing existed for me except this painting. My heart was pounding, my head swimming, I was transported to another dimension. I’m not sure how long I stood there but I knew my life had changed. At that moment, though I had not yet touched a canvas with a brush, I knew I was an artist…..

2 comments:

Gainor said...

Thanks for this post! I too was transfixed by Prometheus Bound and I think it arose often in my dreams. I would cut school (Germantown Friends School) whenever I could borrow my mother's car and first check in at school and then take off and spend the day at the Philadelphia Art Museum, a place of the Gods, as you say!
I don't know how I discovered your blog, but I enjoy reading your posts and your work is wonderful.
Thanks again.
Gainor Roberts
www.gainor.blogspot.com

Walter L. Mosley said...

This is the Mulatto painting you were telling me about!!! right?